Unocal's Dendara Well Comes Up Dry

Unocal Corporation reports that it has concluded drilling operations on its Dendara deepwater exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico on Green Canyon block 785.

The Dendara well reached its objectives and encountered hydrocarbon-bearing sands that do not contain commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. The company has completed the collection and evaluation of the well data and has plugged and abandoned the well.

The Dendara well was drilled in 7,200 feet of water to a total measured depth of 24,050 feet in 49 days at an estimated gross cost of $22 million. Unocal expects to record its net share -- $17 million pretax -- as a dry hole charge in the first quarter.

"Exploration has inherent risks. Dendara was a quality prospect, but it did not come in as a discovery. We still have a number of world-class exploration prospects remaining in our deepwater Gulf of Mexico inventory, and we are eager to move on to our next prospect," said Mike Bell, vice president of Unocal Deepwater USA.

Unocal holds a 75-percent working interest in the Dendara well; its co-venturers are Nexen Petroleum USA, Inc., and TotalFinaElf E&P USA, Inc. (a subsidiary of TotalFinaElf S.A.), each with a 12.5-percent interest.


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